Oops, I did it again!

The deal is done, but the item has yet to be picked up, much less delivered. So, I hope I am not jinxing anything...

The studio of my dreams included my 56" Macomber and a 32" Macomber.  The idea of a smaller loom dedicated to tea towels and smaller projects has always appealed to me, as it would free up the bigger loom for everything else. It is my desire to put 20 or 30 yards of neutral warp on for said tea towels, cutting off sets of projects as I went, and re-threading the heddles for different patterns whenever the whim struck.

Macomber looms are not that easy to find second hand, especially in South Texas. The few that have crossed my monitor have been many states away, and when the cost of shipping was added to the price of the loom, too dear for my budget.

Macombers 40" and larger are actually easier to find, but the 32" is the most sought after. I believe this is the case because it is one of the smallest of the full size Macombers. Space is often an issue for weavers, so they want the benefits of the heavy, large loom with a slightly smaller footprint.

A part of me was resigned to saving my pennies to order a new one from Macomber when I retired, another 10 to 12 years from now. I was thinking of a 32" with eight to twelve harnesses, made just for me.

I was fine with that plan, but I kept searching, just in case I came across something worthy that I could afford.

Well, someone posted a 32" Macomber with four harnesses, but with room for eight, for a decent price.

In this photo, the crank is missing and the brake appears to have a strap tied to it. The seller sent me a picture of the crank handle that goes with it. She also said her husband fashioned the strap to give her extra tension on the warp, as she prefers to weave with high tension. As I plan to eventually swap the beam to a sectional beam with a tension brake, instead of a ratchet brake, this did not concern me, especially, as she has been weaving on the loom, and it is fully functional. Two of the treadles are on the floor, but I assume she just does not have them tied up using hooks because she did not need them.

I immediately visited with the husband, who has become the loom whisperer in this house, as he has taken apart and put a couple together, so far. He was completely supportive, but I was really concerned about shipping, as it was located in Pasco, Washington. That's well over 2,000 miles one way! Driving over to pick it up was simply not an option.

When our friends bought the Leclerc Colonial last year and had it shipped to us for safekeeping, it was a bear to find someone who would package it up and ship it reasonably from New Jersey to South Texas. I had several sleepless nights worrying about recommending this loom to them, after we discovered what a hassle the shipping was going to be. Fortunately, everything all worked out very well and the loom arrived in excellent condition with a ton of extras!

With that in mind, I told the seller I very much wanted the loom, but was concerned about shipping. Thus, I offered to send her $100 immediately and asked her to give me four days to secure shipping. If I were not able to find appropriate shipping, the $100 was hers to keep. However, if I were successful, then that money would go against the balance.

She was very nice, stated that was fair, and agreed.

All this was on Sunday afternoon. I spent the evening blitzing UShip, ShipSmart, ThisShip, ThatShip, YouNameItShip, asking for quotes.

I also admit, Sunday night was plagued with insomnia thinking about all this, but first thing Monday morning, I had a fairly reasonable bid. TSI (Transit Systems) came through with a quote for white glove service where they will send two people inside for pack and pickup and two people to deliver inside and set up. The only thing, the cost of shipping was more than the price of the loom.

Later Monday afternoon, I got an even better priced quote, but when I requested more information, that shipper failed to respond.

I crunched numbers with the husband and felt that the cost of the loom with the expense of shipping combined was still reasonable for the value of the loom, particularly in light of a new one, even when I eventually add four more harnesses and trade out the plain beam for a sectional one.

After attempting to contact the second shipper without success, the husband told me to go ahead and book the first one.

It is a good thing the lady at TSI was so nice, because it killed me to pay the shipping, but once it was done, I transferred the remainder of the purchase price to the seller.

The deal is complete!

The way this works is the shipper will contact the seller and arrange for pick up. Once that is done, the shipper will let me know when to expect delivery. She said the majority of the pickups are within 15 days and delivery is within 20 days after that. So, I have no idea when Lil' Miss Macomber will arrive.

As soon as I spent all my money, I heard from the second shipper, of course! However, she apologized and said they did not have a truck going as far as Texas, so they could not bid. I was actually relieved to hear that, as I would not have been able to take the better deal, anyway.

Another little tidbit, the seller posted a photo of the Model and Serial numbers:

While I was waiting for everything to fall into place yesterday, I sent Meredith at Macomber Looms an email and asked her if she could date this loom for me. 

She replied quickly: "I looked up the loom and it was listed as a 32" 4 harness loom, ordered on 11/4/68."

I am 17 months and four days older than this loom!

If anyone is wondering if I am the least bit concerned about buying one this old, the answer is not at all. The 56" Macomber I have now was delivered on August 18, 1976. I bought it from its original owner and she had all the paperwork for it, including her handwritten order and invoice. All the parts on it are made of maple, steel, or cast iron. I expect the very same from a loom made by them in 1968.

According to the seller, she bought it from a lady last year who purchased it from Oregon School of Arts. I notice on their Fiber page the school lists having one 9-foot Macomber floor loom and 21 Macomber looms!

Lastly, I am so thrilled I can hardly stand it!



Caroline said…
Congratulations on finding a second Macomber! My 40" Mac was made in July of 1969 and is in great shape! Love it!
Feisty said…
Hi Caroline!

That is so awesome to hear!

Happy Weaving!

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